On July 22nd and July 30th of this year, 2014, I had the pleasure of meeting with Deacon Jack Sullivan first in Pembroke and next in Marshfield, Massachusetts. Deacon Sullivan, originally from Braintree, Massachusetts has lived with his wife Carol in Marshfield for many years. They have three children and two grandchildren. After graduating from Suffolk University Law School and working in private practice he was appointed Assistant Clerk Magistrate of the Plymouth District Court in 1980 and Chief Magistrate in 1991. He maintained that position until his retirement in 2010. “On August 15, 2001, Deacon Sullivan was healed from a crippling spinal disorder after praying to Cardinal Newman. On July 3, 2009 Pope Benedict XVI announced that the healing was in fact a miracle, leading to Cardinal Newman’s beatification in England on September 19, 2010. “On his website: Deaconjacksullivan.com tells the story of his miraculous cure through the intercession of Blessed John Henry Newman. One of the ideas that struck me the most is how he asked God for this cure so that he could continue then his studies towards the diaconate, and in his account of the cure he relates how the miraculous intervention was such that he was able to finish his studies and be ordained. If I recall correctly the very day of his ordination he received a note from the Provost of the Birmingham Oratory, Fr. Paul Chavasse informing him that on that very date, unknown to them that it was his ordination date, the Fathers of the Oratory had voted to send to Rome a formal submission of his cure for Newman’s cause. I was very happy to meet with Deacon Jack and we quickly became friends. Naturally we spoke at length about Cardinal Newman, and about the miraculous cure that he received. We also spoke of the affection with which Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI greeted him and his wife at the beatification of Cardinal Newman in 2010. Deacon Sullivan proclaimed the Gospel at the beatification Mass and his wife presented the Holy Father with the relic of Newman during the same Mass. In addition to caring for his family, Deacon Sullivan has a weekly prison ministry. He enjoys painting and has many beautiful paintings at his home. Once a month Deacon Sullivan leads a prayer service and blesses people with a first hand relic of Blessed Cardinal Newman. He recounted various miraculous cures that God has effected through prayer to Cardinal Newman. I was moved by Deacon Sullivan’s devotion to Cardinal Newman, his simple and deep faith in God. I invite you to look at his website and to pray to God through the intercession of Blessed Newman for spiritual favor and physical cures.
For forty days we are in ‘spiritual circuit training’, with the goal of joining St Peter on his morning run to Christ’s tomb.